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How Old Spice Created New Opportunity For Senior Businesses

Old Spice was once known as “your grandfather’s cologne.” But that image is changing thanks to a creative social media campaign that started at the Super Bowl and became a national buzzword.

Old Spice’s campaign, featuring an athletic, half-dressed man who exudes confidence, recently showed its swagger all over YouTube. The company used more than 180 videos – including some personal responses to tweets of potential customers – to establish itself as a leader in social media marketing and earn positive public relations.

The Old Spice campaign did more than create more than 7 million online views in a week, it did it all without purchasing a single minute of advertising. The social media campaign became the No.1 search term on Google, and gave the brand recognition that would normally cost millions of dollars through traditional advertising alone.

But how can senior businesses, whether in senior living or even health care, follow Old Spice’s lead without losing their shirt in the process? There are key principles within the Old Spice campaign that will create public relations success for any business.

Interact with your audience.
The key to social media is communication. By replying directly to tweets, Old Spice engaged its prospects and showed that it was plugged in to their needs. While many of the responses were satire, they built a connection. Senior living businesses have turned to Facebook in droves, and many are considering Twitter as well, but it takes more than a log-in in to make a lasting impression. The most successful strategic planning for social media integrates conversation instead of just static wall posts and tweets. Does your strategic planning stack up?

Expand your reach.
Old Spice’s latest campaign not only appeals to men, it also appeals to women. The company targeted tweets from those plugged into social media – from Gizmodo to George Stephanopoulos, from Ellen DeGeneres to Digg.com. Old Spice created sparks among several demographics, and made an unprecedented public relations home run. When appealing to seniors, think about others in their world you can make an impact with, including their caregivers, their adult children, and even their health care providers, such as a home care agency.

Keep it simple and focused.
The target may expand, but the presentation should remain tight. The 180 videos shot by Old Spice were filmed in the span of two days. Social media is not only about conversation, it is about being in the moment. Whether in health care or senior living, senior businesses can’t wait months to implement strategic planning because the landscape changes within days. Immediacy is the foundation of social media –businesses must be able to adapt at a moment’s notice. That’s why a focused social media plan, implementing digital and creative ideas as well as public relations, is so vital.

Old Spice has been around for 75 years, but it’s willingness to try something new in its advertising campaign should be an inspiration for all senior businesses. It worked for Old Spice, and it can work for you.